A’s lead the wild card race

DMZ · July 26, 2005 at 9:50 am · Filed Under General baseball 

Oakland is now 54-45 and ten games ahead of the Mariners.

April 30th: Oakland 12-12, Mariners 12-12
May 31st: Oakland 19-32, Mariners 21-30
June 30th: Oakland 38-40, Mariners 33-44

We’ll see how this turns out. A s I recall, Dave and I were two of the only people unwilling to call the A’s dead this off-season. You can check out Dave’s December post on this if you’re interested.

At least when both teams sucked, there was some consolation value in it. Now, I feel like someone tripped me in mid-May, when team went from playing .500 ball to losing all the time, I’ve been lying around on the sidewalk all year, and passer-by keep kicking me in the side as they walk by.



55 Responses to “A’s lead the wild card race”

  1. VDAWG on July 26th, 2005 4:31 pm


    Oakland’s failures in the postseason have nothing to do with the way in which Beane constructed the A’s roster. Although many people assume that the A’s should have won at least once during their four year run because of their dominant pitching, their pitching staff was the reason for their futility. Moreover, Oakland’s big three were all healthy and available to pitch only once during their run and that was in 2001.

    2000 A’s v. Yankees

    Because the A’s did not clinch the wild card until the final day of the season, the A’s were unable to set their rotation. Mark Mulder was unavailable for the entire series due to a back injury.

    The A’s started game 1 with Gil Heredia and game 2 Kevin Appier. The A’s won the first game and lost the second. Hudson started game 3 and lost while Zito started game 4 in NY and won. Gil Heredia started game five, allowed 6 runs to score in the first inning and effectively gave the final game to the Yankees.

    2001 A’s v. Yankees

    If the A’s could be criticized for any series during their run, this series is the one to look at. Hudson and Mulder won games 1 and 2 in NY, while Zito lost 1-0 in Oakland in the famous Jeter flip/Giambi no-slide game. Cory Lidle got blown out and Jermaine Dye broke his leg in game 4. And although Mulder didn’t exactly get lit up, he lost game 5 unable to escape the fifth inning, giving up four runs (two earned).

    2002 A’s v. Twins

    While the Twins weakness against lefthanded pitching has already been discussed as well as the mistake in starting Hudson over Zito, it should be noted that Hudson has admitted that he tried to pitch throught oblique problems during the series w/out telling any of the Oakland training staff. Hudson’s ineffectiveness during the series seems to be validated by this explanation.

    2003 A’s v. Red Sox.

    Mark Mulder goes on the DL in August and is unavailable for the series. Oakland wins the first two games easily, but lose game 3 in extra innings due to base running errors by Tejada and Byrnes, ruining an otherwise great performance by Ted Lilly in Boston. Hudson starts game 4 but leaves in the second inning due to injury. Keith Foulke blows the Oakland lead in the 8th inning on a hit to David Ortiz. In game 5, Zito goes 6 innings and gives up 4 runs, where Oakland eventually loses 4-3, partially due to questionable moves by Ken Macha in the 9th inning.

    What this analysis shows is that a combination of injuries (Mulder, Hudson and Dye) and bad luck (not being able to set their rotation in 2000, Derek Jeter) played more of a factor in Oakland’s postseason flops than deficiencies in “Moneyball” theory or roster construction flaws.

  2. ray on July 26th, 2005 4:34 pm

    I think what #13 said was right on: you can put a winning product on the field but fans may not attend; you can put a sentimental product on the field but lose and fans may attend. If a team can find a balance… but we’ve seen everything work and not work. The Yankees throw money at their problems and win (generally) and always has the stadium packed. The A’s do mixing and matching without much money and they win (generally) and the stadium is usually half full. Other teams do the Yankee way and lose, and other teams do the A’s way and lose. I’d say you really have to know your market.

  3. Mr. Egaas on July 26th, 2005 4:56 pm

    I was questioning Beane’s moves this off-season, but then I read “Moneyball”, and all made sense.

    Seeing how the M’s are out of it, the A’s give me a close second to cheer for. It’s unfortunate that I also cheer for an M’s rival, but I like how the A’s front office runs their team, specifically Beane.

  4. Frozenropers on July 26th, 2005 6:30 pm

    VDAWG….thanks for the run down…..I think some blame for the 2002 loss to the twins can be put on Macha and management for NOT setting up there rotation and letting Zito pitch at the end of the season to win the Cy Young……..

    So it looks like mental mistakes, (base running errors) which are mangified in a playoff format…..management errors in not setting the rotation in the Twins series……..injuries……and just flat out not closing out series that they should have, be it due to youth, inexperience or what not………caused alot of their failures.

    I don’t remember me every saying “Moneyball” theory was ever to blame………but maybe that was a response to someone else’s post.

  5. Aboba on July 27th, 2005 6:30 am

    I also lived in Oakland and still try to catch at least one As game a year at the Coliseum.

    To what do we attribute the As remarkable resurgence? It looks to me like a number of players (Zito, Saarloos, Chavez and Kielty) have started playing up to their potential, making up for sub-par performances from Durazo. However, it’s hard for me to really believe that the As are as good as their recent record (27-5??).

    Harden has pitched well all season (ERA = 2.28!) and Zito and Saarloos have gotten on track after poor starts in April and May. Haren (4.24) has kept them in the game. On the other hand, Blanton (4.47) has run into trouble after a good start. Chavez and Kielty have broken out of their slumps, Bobby Crosby is hitting well, and they’ve gotten good performances from D. Johnson, M. Ellis, S. Hatteberg. On the other hand, Durazo has not contributed much.